Clarity First Newsletter, July 21, 2017

Clarity First
A notebook about how we work and learn and love and live.

I am reveling in the longer days of summer. I love being serenaded by birds while I wake in the morning. I love the shrieks and calls of kids playing in the street in the evening. Happy summer. Sip it. It’s passing.

We need to see leadership as the capacity of a collective to catalyze change for the common good.

Recently I’ve begun to follow strategic advisor Petra Kuenkel on Twitter. I appreciate how clearly she articulates that the future of leadership is collective.
Article: Collective Leadership for Sustainability

There is a difference between hearing and listening.

Active listening is a technique for developing our ability to understand each other. It can be learned. It takes practice.
Article: Active Listening

Your strategy tells you precisely how your organization is going to outperform the competition.

Successful strategies are ones that challenge conventional wisdom, allowing you to do things that your competitors haven’t yet thought to do.
Article: 5 Step Guide To Crafting A Well-Defined Strategy

Students need new skills because employers across a huge variety of industries increasingly demand them.

Article: Teaching 21st Century Skills For 21st Century Success Requires An Ecosystem Approach.

How Buddhism teaches us to stop stewing

How much of our lives do we waste stewing about things we can’t change? Or fuming, worrying, regretting, ruminating or sometimes avoiding? How much happier would we be if we could just learn to let go?
Article: Letting It Go

The communication evolution

Respondents to the latest McKinsey Global Survey on social tools report that their fellow employees now rely more often on social methods of communication than on traditional methods in their work.
Article: Advanced Social Technologies and the Future of Collaboration

Social media is becoming an engagement channel. 

The future of social media is about deepening your relationships with your fans by engaging them and not simply pushing out marketing messages.
Article: Why I Think Social Media Is For Branding and Engagement, Not Traffic or Revenue

Speak in benefits, not features.

Sustainability guru William McDonough once asked, “Who would want simply a ‘sustainable’ marriage?”. The fact is, the words we use to describe services and products that do not overspend our natural capital don’t begin to convey their benefits. We need to find the words that describe that environmental friendliness is human-friendliness. If Williams and Sonoma can sell the romance of home cooking, we can certainly sell the romance of home planet  balance.
Article: The ‘Dirty Words’ of Sustainability Messaging: Why We Need a New Approach


This week I learned that the Rolling Stones’ Harlem Shuffle, which appeared on their 1986 album Dirty Work, is a cover of a 1963 R&B hit by Bob & Earle. I also learned that the Stones’ version has been sampled by two other artists, and the original has been sampled in 16 songs and been covered a total of seven times. I learned all of this on a community built (17,000 contributors and counting) website called Who Sampled, Exploring the DNA of Music. Approach with caution. This thing is a dangerous time sink.

Image of the week

This week’s image is tagged “Potato Flag“, and appears on the Bath, PA Chamber’s website.  The unnamed artist did the work to celebrate Bath’s annual Spuds and Suds Festival.

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by Clarity, the consultancy that helps mission-driven companies use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as powerful tools for transformation. Learn more.

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